Some tips to help you sleep.
By Mark Bodnar – Acupuncturist
As a parent with young children it feels like I talk about sleep a great deal. I also encounter patients with sleep issues frequently in my practice. Not getting a good night’s rest makes everything in life more difficult. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is a very common complaint. One possible way to improve your sleep is to start getting some Acupuncture.
That’s right, I said acupuncture. It’s great for improving your sleep. Acupuncture relaxes the nervous system, balances adrenal function and also helps the body regulate its internal rhythms. Over the years, I’ve worked with many people who have sleep disorders spanning a wide range.
Here are a couple tips that may help with your sleep:
- Develop a routine and stick
to it: Waking, eating, exercising and sleeping at the same time everyday
can help the body get into a rhythm. In time, this routine will help your
body recognize when it’s time to sleep.
- Skip the nap: Even if you’re
a bit tired, leave out the nap. Napping will throw off your internal
rhythms, you’ll end up going to sleep even later at night and throw
everything off even further.
- Kick the stimulants:
Caffeine in any form stimulates the body and specifically the nervous
system. It sends it into overdrive and it’s hard to come down off the
rush. Alcohol and sugar have also been shown to have negative effects on
With some effort toward finding time to help yourself, which can be difficult, and regular acupuncture, your body can gradually find a restful balance.
By Mark Bodnar
Stress is something that more and more of my patients are experiencing daily and finding that it is interfering with their health and happiness. If you ask any health care professional they will agree that chronic stress is just no good for your body. Recently there have been several medical studies showing a relationship between high stress levels and decreased health. They’ve shown stress can lead to a decreased immune system function, stiff muscles (commonly the back and neck), poor sleep and digestive disturbances to name a few.
The good news is that acupuncture can help. From a Chinese medicine understanding, stress affects the flow of qi and eventually blood flow within the body causing something called a stagnation of qi. Acupuncture helps to move qi and blood and relieve stress. It also releases endorphins within the brain and has a deep relaxing effect on the body. A medical study done at the University of California found that acupuncture decreases the sympathetic nerve activity producing a calming effect during periods of stress, lowering blood pressure and muscle tension.
In addition to acupuncture there are some things you can do to help yourself.
- Relaxing your mind: Try to focus your mind on other things. This gives the body a break from dealing with the stress response. Make a habit to take a couple a minutes to clear your mind from everything and focus on the positives in your life.
- Make time for yourself: Pampering yourself or taking part in activities that you really enjoy will increase your happiness.
- Exercise: It’s a great tool to help with stress. So go for a walk or hop on your bike. Just 10 minutes a day will make difference over some time.
Acupuncture can provide a safe and effective tool for handling stress. Typically as the heavy feelings of stress are relieved through treatment, you start to feel more confident in your ability to cope and make some necessary changes.